Student Motivation and Perseverance: Do They Explain College Graduation?

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Rasha Ashraf
Jonathan M. Godbey
Milind M. Shrikhande
Tracy A. Widman



We examine whether college students’ persistence in finding a suitable major field of study influences the likelihood of graduation. We find that students who make an effort to select a suitable major early in their college careers graduate in a more timely fashion. Although changing majors is associated with delayed graduation, struggling students can improve graduation likelihood by switching to a more suitable major. However, performance improvement after switching is necessary for successful completion of a degree. These results indicate that colleges and universities should allocate resources to supporting students in their search for an appropriate major and empower students by providing course guidance and counseling.



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How to Cite
Ashraf, R., Godbey, J. M., Shrikhande, M. M., & Widman, T. A. (2018). Student Motivation and Perseverance: Do They Explain College Graduation?. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 18(3).
Author Biographies

Rasha Ashraf, Georgia State University

Clinical Assistant Professor

Department of Finance

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Georgia State University

Jonathan M. Godbey, Georgia State University

Clinical Assistant Professor

Department of Finance

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Georgia State University

Milind M. Shrikhande, Georgia State University

Clinical Professor

Department of Finance

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Georgia State University

Tracy A. Widman, Georgia State University

Assistant Dean for Assessment, Accreditation and Faculty Data Management

Office of Deans

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Georgia State University


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